The Sikh Itihas Research Board was started under the name 'Sikh History Society'. The main purpose of the historians for starting the Sikh History Society was to preserve and write Sikh history in a systematic manner. Early efforts were made by S. Karam Singh Historian, Bawa Budh Singh, and other panth--sympathizer to study, write, and preserve Sikh history. "An inaugural meeting was held at Sri Akal Takht Sahib on December 22, 1929 AD and Sikh Society Itihas was established. The first secretary appointed was S. Karam Singh Ji." As the members of this society, Principal Teja Singh Ji, Bawa Budh Singh Ji, Baba Prem Singh Ji Hoti, Prof Jodh Singh Ji, Bawa Harkishan Singh Ji, Bhai Takhat Singh Ji, Giani Hira Singh Ji Dard, etc. were appointed to provide services.
To establish the 'Sikh History Society', Dr. Ganda Singh and Baba Prem Singh, presented a proposal before the panth on March 1, 1941 AD. Representatives of all the sections of the panth applauded the proposal and ideas for the establishment of society began to emerge. Due to the continuous efforts of scholars, a joint gathering of history lovers was held at the hall of 'Khalsa College, Amritsar' on February 10, 1945 AD (29 Magh, 2001 Bikrami), which was presided over by Princess Bamba Sutherland, eldest daughter of the last Sikh Maharaja of Punjab, Duleep Singh; after the views of S. Teja Singh M.A., Principal Sardar Bahadar Bhai Jodh Singh Ji; S. Ishar Singh Ji Majhail strongly appealed to all that the time has come to start the preservation and research work of Sikh history on a large scale and to establish a common platform in the form of "Sikh History Society". Accepting this proposal, the foundation of the "Sikh History Society" was laid and the office-bearers were nominated as per the following list:
Baba Prem Singh Ji Hoti - President
Prof Teja Singh Ji M.A. - Vice-President
Prof Ganda Singh M.A. - Secretary
In addition to the above three office-bearers, a sub-committee of the following members was constituted to prepare the rules of the Society.
1. S. Mohan Singh MA (Head Librarian, S. Dayal Singh Public Library, Lahore)
2. S. Gurdial Singh Salaria, Barrister-At-Law, Amritsar
3. S. Bhag Singh, BA, LLB, Advocate, Gurdaspur
4. Prof Waryam Singh, MA, LLB, Amritsar
5. Jathedar Mohan Singh, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar
6. S. Ishar Singh Ji Majhail, MLA, Amritsar
On the same day a list of associate members of the Society was drawn up which numbered 70. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) organized a general meeting to support the Sikh History Society at Teja Singh Samundri Hall under the leadership of President Jathedar Mohan Singh on March 10, 1945 AD, in which, the preservation of Sikh history was cordially discussed. Following resolutions were discussed under Part III Sikh History.
III - Sikh History
A) Establishment of a large scale reference library for the research of Sikh history.
B) To make suitable arrangements for the research of Sikh history and to make arrangements for the publication of new books in this regard.
After the establishment of the Sikh History Society at Khalsa College, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee while cooperating and showing enthusiasm for the preservation of Sikh history, adopted the Sikh History Society at a gathering held on April 20, 1945 AD (8 Vaisakh 2002 Bikrami) and its executive committee (Board of Control) was appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee as an advisory committee for the study of Sikh history. As a result, the Sikh History Society was allotted a hall at Sri Guru Ram Das Sarai for the initial research work.
Appointment of executive committee (Board of Control) of Sikh History Society:
The first meeting to form the rules and executive committee of the Sikh History Society was held at Teja Singh Samundri Hall at about 10 am on April 29, 1945 AD (17 Vaisakh 2002 Bikrami). In which, the draft of the rules prepared by the sub-committee was unanimously accepted after some amendments. In addition to the president, vice-president and secretary, ten members of the 'Board of Control' were elected.
Views were kept in this meeting to set up a Sikh Reference Library under the Sikh History Society, and that for the initial expenses, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee should grant an amount of Rs 51,000, so that, the library can be started and then an annual grant of Rs 10,000. As a suitable site for the building of the library, Sri Darbar Sahib Committee was also requested to construct dwellings (bunga) on both sides of the rising door on the ghanta ghar (clock house) side of Sri Harmandir Sahib, if possible, as per its published plan, that a 'Sikh Reference Library' should be set up on one side and a 'Sikh Museum' and a 'Portrait House' on the other side so that the visiting sangat could be effectively influenced by Sikh history, literature and culture, which will preach and disseminate Sikhism quickly and easily.
The decision to open the Sikh Reference Library was taken at a meeting of the 'Board of Control' on January 12, 1946 AD. According to the same decision, the inauguration ceremony of the 'Sikh Reference Library' was held on February 9, 1947 AD (27 Magh, Samvat 2003 Bikrami), thus the work of expansion and development of the Sikh Reference Library was started with great enthusiasm.
To further expand the scope of research, it was decided to start a 'quarterly paper', which was named as the 'Itihasak Patr' - Historical Paper, the first editor of which was S. Sarmukh Singh Amol. To fulfill the purpose of the Society, it was decided to start a lecture series in 1947 AD. According to a quote from Gurdwara Gazette magazine, eight lectures were conducted till July 18, 1948 AD.
The work of the Society continued to take place at Sri Guru Ram Niwas till about 1958 AD, later including the library it was changed on the other side of the ghanta ghar (clock tower) of Sri Harmandir Sahib, towards Atta Mandi (clock tower south side), later the building was named as 'Maha Kavi Santokh Singh Ji Hall'. According to Prof Parkash Singh, in 1963 AD, the name of Sikh History Society was changed to the Sikh Itihas Research Board and the entire management came under the control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. The first 'Sikh Itihas Sammelan' (Sikh History Conference) of the Sikh History Research Board was held at the land of Amritsar under the chairmanship of Mr. Badruddin Tayyub, Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh University on March 28, 1964. Dr. Ganda Singh was honoured with a Siropa (robe of honour) and a thousand rupees. Scholars from all over Punjab participated in the event. The second Sikh History Conference at Amritsar was presided over by Prof. Gurmukh Nihal Singh Ji on January 29, 1966. In this conference, Dr. Hari Ram Gupta was honored with a felicitation letter, a Siropa and a thousand rupees.
At present the entire work of the Sikh Reference Library under the Sikh Itihas Research Board is being carried out under the leadership of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. At present the Chairman of the board is President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar and Dr. Balwant Singh Dhillon, Dr Paramvir Singh, Principal Prabhjot Kaur, S. Harwinder Singh Khalsa are is serving as the members. Commendable work is being done by the Sikh Itihas Research Board for the preservation, propagation and dissemination of the Sikh history.
At present eight research scholars are working on various research works at Sikh Itihas Research Board. Moreover, they also file answers after conducting research and scrutiny on letters sent from time to time by the Secretariat Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Office of Sri Darbar Sahib, Office of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, and Dharam Prachar Committee. The Board has conducted four workshops and also started a series of lectures under which three lectures have been conducted.
The following is a list of books recently published by the Sikh History Research Board:
|1.||Sada Hath Likhat Punjab Sahit||S. Shamsher Singh Ashok||1968|
|2.||Nisaan Te Hukamnaame||S. Shamsher Singh Ashok||1967|
|3.||Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Da Panjah Sala Itiha (1926 to 1976 AD||S. Shamsher Singh Ashok||1982|
|4.||Sri Gur Panth Prakash||Dr. Jeet Singh Seetal||1998|
|5.||Pracheen Vaaran Te Jungnaame||S. Shamsher Singh Ashok||1997|
|6.||Sikh Lehar (1486-1764): Inqulaabi Lehran De Prasang Vich||S. Jagjit Singh||1994|
|7.||Tawareekh Punjabi Suba Morcha||S. Karam Singh Jakhmi||1998|
|8.||Diary De Panne||S. Harbir Singh Bhanwar||1999|
|9.||Akali Dal Sacha Saudha Bar||Dr Kulwinder Singh Bajwa||2000|
|10.||Baaznaama||Dr Jasbir Singh Sarna||2000|
|11.||Jaito De Morcha De Akhin Ditthe Haal||Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer||2000|
|12.||Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Kiven Bani?||Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer||2000|
|13.||Banda Singh Bahadar||Dr Ganda Singh||2010|
|14.||Struggle for Reform in Sikh Shrines||Ruchi Ram Sahni||--|
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